Why is sugar so bad for us?

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 Hello my dear readers!

Today I’m writing about a very commune topic, as you saw in the title, about SUGAR.

Everybody knows sugar is bad for us, but if you ask them why is so bad for our health people have just one answer: it makes us fat. Well it’s a little more than that…. So just pay a little attention and read 🙂

 First of all what is sugar?

When we talk about sugar we are mainly referring to refined sugars. The well known, granulated white sugar comes mainly from sugar cane or sugar beet plant.

In its raw state, cane sugar is a dark coloured, thick syrup known as black molasses. It is this syrup which is refined to produce the clean looking granulated form we all know. So from plant to granular form involves several chemical processes. Going through this chemical process the final product, the table sugar, has NO NUTRIENTS, NO PROTEIN, NO HEALTHY FATS, NO ENZYMES, NO VITAMINS, NO MINERALS. Contains just some empty and quickly digested calories, which actually pull minerals from the body during digestion.

Here is a short list of why sugar is bad for you:

Sugar is Highly Addictive

Like abusive drugs, sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward centre of the brain. The problem with sugar and many junk foods is that they can cause massive dopamine release… much more than we were ever exposed to from foods found in nature. The “everything in moderation” message may be a bad idea for people who are addicted to junk food, because the only thing that works for true addiction is abstinence.

Not the fat, BUT the SUGAR is that raises your cholesterol and gives you heart disease

For many decades, people have blamed saturated fat for heart disease, which is the #1 killer in the world. However new studies are showing that saturated fat is harmless.  Studies show that large amounts of fructose can raise triglyceride and raise blood glucose and insulin levels and also increase abdominal obesity.

 Sugar suppresses the immune system

When you eat a big dose of sugar, like a bottle of Coke or a candy bar, you temporarily tamp down your immune system’s ability to respond to challenges. The effect lasts for several hours, so if you eat sweets several times a day, your immune system may be perpetually operating at a distinct disadvantage

 Sugar raises insulin levels

An influx of sugar into your body will have a fairly predictable result: Your blood sugar levels will rise up.  Shortly after, your pancreas will release a bunch of insulin to help clear sugar from your blood into your cells. As blood sugar levels go down, insulin levels return to normal. But when you eat a lot of sugar, you’re constantly calling for insulin. Over time, it takes more and more insulin to get the job done. Eventually, your pancreas may just stop responding to the call. So you become an insulin-dependent diabetic. And along the way, exposing your cells and organs to chronically high insulin levels accelerates the ageing process

 Sugar promotes inflammation

Eating sugar foods can fuel excessive, inappropriate inflammation that serves no useful purpose and actually promotes ageing and disease. Cutting back on sugary foods will help you avoid excess inflammation

Stresses the Liver

When we eat fructose, it goes to the liver. If liver glycogen is low, such as after a run, the fructose will be used to replenish it. However, most people aren’t consuming fructose after a long workout and their livers are already full of glycogen. When this happens, the liver turns the fructose into fat. Some of the fat gets shipped out, but part of it remains in the liver. The fat can build up over time and ultimately lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Sugar contains no essential nutrients and is bad for your teeth

You’ve probably heard this a million times before, but it’s worth repeating.

Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain lots of calories with NO essential nutrients.

For this reason, they are called “empty” calories.

When people eat up to 10-20% of calories as sugar, this can become a major problem and contribute to nutrient deficiencies.

Sugar is also very bad for the teeth, because it provides easily digestible energy for the bad bacteria in the mouth.

The list could go on and on…..

So, what the scientist recommend?

We all know it’s hard to totally cut out sugar. What they are recommending is to be aware of the amount of sugar you are putting into our body.

Eat real or whole foods, like vegetables, meat, seafood, fruit and nuts. This ensures there are no hidden sugars.

Minimize your intake of processed or fast foods.

If you have to buy processed foods, read the food label!!

Don’t forget!!!!! SUGAR is everywhere

  • Bread
  • Pastry
  • Fruit juices
  • Milk shakes
  • Yoghurt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Peanut butter
  • Ketchup
  • Cereals
  • Salad dressings and so on!

But it is not enough that there is sugar in everything, we also like to add sugar to our tea, coffee, top our fruit in sugar and cream, soups, pancakes etc.

Try to eliminate processed sugar from your diet, if not, than try to replace them with natural sweeteners, like natural raw honey, natural stevia, raw, black molasses or natural maple syrup.

Remember!!

When you consume sugar, your body has two options on how to deal with it:

  • Burn it for energy
  • Convert to fat and store it in your fat cells

Depending on your genetic predisposition, your body might be better equipped to process sugar as energy, or you might be more likely to store it as fat.

Hope I gave you some new information on this addictive sweet “substance” called SUGAR 🙂

Have a great night  :*

 

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Hidden sugars in your food

cerealsHey everybody! I’m back with a new topic, it is about hidden sugars. Nowadays everybody knows that sugar is bad for us because:

  • reduces the body’s ability to defend against bacterial infection
  • interferes with the body’s absorption of calcium and magnesium
  • can cause hypoglycemia
  • can cause premature ageing
  • can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity
  • can decrease the amount of growth hormones in the body
  • can interfere with the absorption of protein
  • causes inflammation

The list could go on and on, but I’m sure you all heard about these things.

So, you’ve made it your mission to follow a healthier lifestyle, to exercising more, cutting out the fats, limiting your salt intake and staying away from the sweets. BUT! Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you might still be eating far more sugar than you think. Sugar comes in many different ways and much of it is hidden in your favourite foods.

Have a look at these foods to learn how you can cut your sugar intake and live a healthier life today.

 1. Salad dressings

You’d be surprised to find how much sugar ready-made salad dressings contain. The worst are the low-fat versions – the manufacturers remove the fat of the salad dressing but add extra sugar and salt to improve the taste.

The healthiest option is still to make your own salad dressing by using a small amount of olive oil, fresh lemon juice or Balsamic vinegar and adding some fresh herbs.

 2.’Health/ fitness’ bars

If you think that “health” and granola bars are a good choice for breakfast or snacking during the day, think again. Most of these bars are loaded with sugar. They may contain healthy fibre, nuts and raisins, but they also contain many different types of sugar. The low-fat health bars are the worst offenders, with some of them containing up to 3 teaspoons of sugar per 30 gram bar.

For a healthy snack, rather eat fruit, a piece of cheese or a handful of nuts and raisins.

 3. Fruit Yoghurt

A favourite snack at breakfast or at the office is fruit/flavoured yoghurt. Most of us prefer the flavoured ones but they all contain added sugar – even the low-fat and non-fat versions. Some brands of flavoured yoghurt contain up to 20 grams (or 5 teaspoons) of sugar per serving.

Rather opt for plain yoghurt and add fresh fruit and honey to sweeten it.

 4. Tomato Sauce

Sugar is often added to tomato products to counter their acidity. This is especially true when tomatoes are picked too early. Everyone’s favourite condiment, tomato sauce is one not one of the greatest when it comes to hidden sugar. A can of tomato sauce can contain 27g of sugar per 100g.

So next time you grab the bottle, keep in mind that a tablespoon of tomato sauce equals one teaspoon of sugar.

 5. Breakfast cereals

Have a look at the ingredient list of your favourite breakfast cereal. Most breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar to make it more tasty. The classic cornflakes contain about 5 to 7g of sugar per 100g, meaning a 50g portion will contain half to one teaspoon of sugar. The “healthier” high-fibre, all bran flakes contain up to 11g of sugar per 100g or around one and a half teaspoons of sugar. The sweeter flavoured cereals that kids (and many adults) love so much contain up to 34g of sugar per 100g.

You can choose oats, and make delicious oatmeal with almond milk, fruits and coconut.

 6. Canned vegetables

Many brands of canned vegetables contain hidden sugars that are used during the manufacturing process to make their shelf life longer. Have a look at the ingredient list to see whether any sugar has been added and, if you must have sweetened veggies, choose a brand with the lowest sugar content.

The best option is still to cook your own fresh vegetables.

My Advice for you is to read the ingredient list of your favourite food. There’s a good chance that it includes sugar. The best-known sugars are fructose (“fruit sugar”) and sucrose (“table sugar”). But they are also often listed by another name: honey, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, fruit juice concentrate, galactose, lactose, polydextrose, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, maltodextrin and turbinado sugar. 

 

Take care and have a wonderful weekend 🙂